Boy with cancer's dream of becoming soldier comes true

Published On: Dec 21 2012 07:20:16 AM HST

A Baltimore boy with terminal cancer who has always wanted to be a soldier got a huge surprise from the 200th Military Police Command out of Fort Meade on Wednesday.

Khalil Quarles' love of the Army started several years before he was diagnosed with a soft tissue cancer in June 2011. It started in his leg and his lungs. He went through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, but the cancer kept growing.

"At that time, we decided to just stop the treatment so that Khalil could have the best quality of life that's possible, being a 10-year-old child, to get to enjoy his life," said his mom, Cypress Mason.

Khalil, 10, thought the highlight of his day Wednesday would be chatting on Skype for the first time with a soldier stationed in Kuwait, but it got even better.

"I've got my Army guys outside waiting for you," the soldier told Khalil over the Internet.

Khalil went outside to find a crowd and soldiers waiting to fulfill his dream -- to enlist in the U.S. Army.

"It's come to my attention that one of your lifelong ambitions is to become a soldier, so I brought some of my troops here to make you an honorary member of the United States Army," Capt. Barndon Crawford told the boy.

Crawford officials swore in Khalil on the spot. When asked by 11 News reporter Kai Reed what he thought the most important thing about being a soldier was, Khalil responded, "Protecting people." When asked if that was his dream, he smiled and said, "Yes!"

Khalil took a ride in a Humvee and posed for pictures with his new fellow soldiers.

"This guy is tough. He's like what a real soldier is about. That's why we're happy to induct him into the Army," Crawford said.

"He is a fighter. He's been fighting since day one," his mother said.

Khalil is an outpatient at Gilchrest Hospice Center. The Army has also collected donations for Christmas gifts for his family because they couldn't afford to buy presents for the holiday.  


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